The Red Emperor Tulips Have Blossomed

BY AMANDA MOSES 

Spring has arrived at the Spring Creek Recreational Fund’s (SCRF) Urban Garden Classroom (UGC). The Red Emperor Tulips, daffodils, and other flowers have blossomed, adding a multi-colored sparkle to the UGC. The students at PS 346 were so excited to see that every-thing they planted finally reached fruition. “My favorite part about the garden is seeing the plants grow weeks after we planted them,” third grader, Tessia said while peering into the garden beds.

As the children and Garden Educator, Jacqui Roytman celebrate the coming of spring, they also have completed another year participating in the Journey North Tulip Garden Test. In December, the children began their journey tracking the change in seasons and climate around the world using the Journey North website, www.learner.org/jnorth/. “The students are able to discover when other gardens across the country are experiencing spring by following an interactive map and news updates,” said Roytman.

Since the winter, Roytman and the students have been observing he growth of the tulips. First they marked the date when the tulips were planted, which was in December. The second step was uploading pictures of the tulips slowly emerging from the ground, which was in March. The final step occurred this week, and then Roytman added photos of the tulips in full red bloom to the Journey North site.

Overall, the Journey North pro-gram provides data and reports from schools around the globe planting these red tulips. This initiative is an important observation program that helps scientist measure climate change in various parts of the world. According to their website, “One garden at a time, the relationship between cli-mate, geography, and the greening of spring is revealed. Local climate affects where, when, and how plants grow. Over time, the timing of plant growth can be used as an indicator of climate change. Every-one who participates in this inter-national tulip test garden project contributes valuable information to a long-term database.”

To see updates of the wave of spring across the Northern Hemisphere check out their website at www.learner.org/jnorth/maps/Sightings